Is hemp oil better than olive oil?

Hemp oil is still a great unknown in the food world. Our nutritionist explains the benefits of hemp oil in your diet and answers if this oil is better than olive oil, a very common doubt.

What is hemp oil and what are its main benefits?

Whether you’ve heard of it or not, hemp oil is starting to make its way into the food world. Hemp oil is made from cold-pressed hemp seeds. It has a bright green or golden color (depending on whether it is obtained from whole or peeled seeds) and a delicious nutty flavor.

One of the most remarkable aspects is that it is one of the foods richest in omega 3. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, i.e. it must be provided in the diet on a daily basis. This component has heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory properties and protects the proper functioning of the nervous system.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of hemp oil in your diet, we recommend the post: Benefits of hemp oil for your health.

Is hemp oil better than olive oil?

In Spain we are fortunate to have one of the best oils in the world at a very affordable price. Olive oil consumption is widely established as the main food oil consumed in households. It is worth mentioning that virgin oil varieties are the most advisable, due to their higher content of vitamin E, chlorophyll and antioxidant flavonoids (which give the oil its characteristic greenish color and intense flavor).

Certainly, olive oil is one of the best oils that can be used in our food, both raw and for cooking. In this sense, hemp oil is not intended to displace virgin olive oil in the kitchen, but to complement it.

What are the benefits of hemp oil in the diet?

The advantage of hemp oil over olive oil is that it is much richer in omega 3. This is why many nutritionists recommend hemp oil as an omega-3 supplement.

In diets in which it is important to increase the omega 3 intake, it may be recommended to use hemp oil, always raw, so that all the properties of omega 3 are preserved. One teaspoon (approx. 5 ml) of hemp oil provides 1 g. of omega 3 and achieve the daily requirement of this nutrient.

    Hemp oil as a source of omega 3

    Other foods very rich in omega 3 that nutritionists recommend are hemp seeds, walnuts, oily fish and flax or chia seeds. The best thing, without a doubt, is a varied diet, which includes these foods on a regular basis. However, it can happen that the nuts are finished in a few days, or that the jars of seeds are forgotten on the shelf, and we forget to add them to the dishes, out of absent-mindedness. In that sense, getting into the habit of dressing salads with hemp oil is an easy way to ensure the daily intake of omega 3 that we need every day.

    How to introduce hemp oil in your diet?

    Basically, you put it in the cruet and dress your dishes just as you would do with olive oil . You don’t need a regulating pipette or to measure the quantities you use.

    • It is recommended to be used raw, in sauces or dressings. It can be used (alone or combined with olive oil) in a pesto sauce, mayonnaise, ajoaceite sauce, etc. We simply love it as a dressing, a splash of hemp oil on top of recipes, for example, when plating hummus, vegetable creams or salads. Its nutty flavor gives it an unmistakable touch!
    • It could also be used for gentle cooking at low temperature.
    • It is not recommended for frying, grilling or sautéing at high temperatures (just as it is not recommended for cooking with sunflower oil and other seed oils). The oils that best resist high cooking temperatures are olive oil and coconut oil.
    • As a curiosity, you can also use hemp oil for cosmetic purposes, in homemade masks. Due to its omega 3 content, it is a real balm for dry skin.

    Hemp oil does not contain cannabinoids, such as THC or CBD.

    Hemp oil is derived from hemp seeds and therefore has no cannabinoids (neither CBD nor THC). Nor does it contain these compounds in small quantities.

    THC (psychoactive compound) and CBD (anti-inflammatory) are found in the resin of the flowers (buds) of the plant and are extracted by other procedures. Hemp seeds do not contain cannabinoids and, by extension, neither hemp oil nor hemp protein contain cannabinoids.

    If you have doubts about its safety, you should know that it is a food recognized as safe by the health authorities. You can find more information in our article on Myths about hemp oil as food

    In short, hemp oil is one of the foods richest in omega 3 and can become an ally for your health.

      Eli Carballido
      Dietista nutricionista | Experta en fitoterapia y nutrición

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